About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
The Apostle Paul tells us
that where sin abounds grace abounds even more. (Romans 5:20)
The word "abound" as it relates to both sin and grace
in this verse is translated from the Greek verb "pleonaz".
"Pleonaz", as it relates to sin is a Greek Aorist
Active Subjunctive verb. This
means that sin has an ever present "probability" to abound.
"Pleonaz" as it relates to grace is a Greek Aorist
Active Indicative verb. This
means that grace has an ever present "certainty" to abound.
The same Greek word is used in reference to both sin and grace
but the verb construction is different.
In relation to sin "pleonaz" is a Subjunctive verb.
In relation to grace "pleonaz" is an Indicative verb.
This means that sin will "probably" abound but grace will
"certainly" abound. In
other words, grace ultimately wins.
The prophet Joel spoke of
such abundance of grace in Joel 2:28 - 32.
He predicted a day when God's Spirit would be poured out on all
flesh, or, all ethnic peoples. He
linked this outpouring of the Spirit to the time when the sun would
darken and the moon would turn into blood.
Therefore, Joel predicts a massive world wide outpouring of the
Holy Spirit at the end of this age, or, in the time we call the Great
You might notice that the
Apostle Peter quoted Joel 2:28 - 32 on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:17
- 22) You might also notice
that Peter related Joel's prophecy to the outpouring of the Spirit that
he and his Jewish friends had just experienced. (Acts 2:16)
You might also notice that Peter's interpretation of Joel 2:28 -
32 seems to differ from what Joel actually prophesied.
Peter said that the
outpouring of the Spirit that Joel predicted had just taken place to him
and his Jewish friends. Joel
said that the outpouring of the Spirit would be on all flesh, all ethnic
peoples, not just on Jews in
A serious study of
prophecy shows us that many Old Testament prophecies have a double or
even triple fulfillment. Other
prophecies have a two stage fulfillment.
This is one such prophecy. Joel
2:28 - 32 began to be fulfilled in Acts 2 but will find its ultimate
fulfillment just prior to the end of this age.
Jesus commented on this
revival in Matthew 24:14. He
said the gospel of the
Note that Jesus said the
"gospel of the Kingdom" would be preached.
That's not exactly the gospel of salvation as Evangelicals have
preached it over the years. The
gospel of the Kingdom is the message that Jesus will return to earth to
set up His Kingdom. All
nations and peoples would thus be subject to His rule.
This is a message the political and religious leaders of the
anti-Christ regime will not tolerate.
With this end time
revival in mind, I refer you to Revelation 7:1 - 8 where we see 144,000
Jews preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.
I also refer you to Revelation 11 where we see two miracle
working witnesses proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom.
I also refer you to Malachi 4:5 where Malachi predicts that
Elijah will return before that great and dreadful day of the Lord to
proclaim this gospel. It's
obvious to me that there will be lots of preaching of the gospel of the
Kingdom during the Great Tribulation with positive results.
The prophecy from Malachi
4:5 is another one of those prophecies with a double fulfillment.
Jesus stated that Elijah had already come and was seen in John
the Baptist. (Matthew 11:14) Like
Peter in Acts 2, Jesus interpreted Malachi 4:5 differently than what
Malachi intended it to be understood.
What's going on here? Did
Jesus get it wrong? The
context of Malachi's prophecy about the return of Elijah is associated
with the "great and dreadful day of the Lord", and that wasn't
when John the Baptist was baptizing in the
You should know that
there will be a world wide revival with the outpouring of the Holy
Spirit during the Great Tribulation.
We know this from Revelation 6:9 - 11 where we see the souls of
those who are executed for their association with Jesus during the Great
Tribulation. We know they
came to Jesus during the Great Tribulation because in Revelation 20:4 we
note these believers were beheaded by the anti-Christ regime for not
receiving the mark of the beast. We
also learn from Revelation 7:9 - 14 that this multitude of martyrs was
so great no one could count them. They
came from all nations and all ethnic peoples.
Revelation 9:14 specifically tells us that these martyrs are
those who came out of the Great Tribulation.
The greatest revival the world will ever know is still yet to
I conclude that Paul was
right. Where sin abounds
grace abounds even more. That's
certainly true in the worst time of sin, misery, and judgment, the world
will ever know.